"Mathematical Model of Basal Sprout Production in Response to Laurel Wilt"
Laurel wilt is fatal fungal tree disease vectored by the invasive Redbay Ambrosia Beetle (RAB). Redbay trees and sassafrass trees are both susceptible to the fungal disease, and upon infection both provide suitable host material for RAB. Each of these two species responds differently to the fungal infection, with only redbay trees producing shoots that grow from the root system, called basal sprouts, and thus providing further potential host material for RAB. Using a stage structured SI model, we will explore the effect of basal sprout production on boom and bust disease cycles and the establishment of RAB. We interpret our results to provide insight on the circumstances which lead to Laurel wilt becoming endemic or local extinction of Sassafras and Redbay trees, which is vital for disease control.